Post Submitted by How Big Is Your Eco
Christmas is many things, but ecologically sound it most certainly is not. In recent weeks, at least two discount warehouses have appeared in nearby suburbs, essentially giant pop-up shops devoted to every variety of cheap, flashing, disposable plastic crap known to mankind, and then some.
The next few weeks are a retailer’s dream and a planet’s nightmare, so it’s rather nice to see Colonial First State Shopping Centres making a small, but interesting, concession to the environment.
Their national network of 29 shopping centres, including Chatswood Chase (NSW), Chadstone (VIC) and the Myer Centres (QLD, SA), have introduced biodegradable gift cards (below)—they look and feel like any of the other 10 billion plastic cards in the world (34 million kilos worth), but is made of wheat, beetroot and potato… designed to break down in 180 days in industrial compost.
To boot, the company is sending a Christmas gift to the Australian Conservation Foundation in the form of an undisclosed donation. Click hereto find a centre or buy a gift card online. You’ll go in the draw to win a $3,000 voucher for your troubles—we’d recommend spending it atFleur Wood or gorman (both at Chadstone and Chatswood Chase) or even Cue (multiple centres) which is accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia… look for the ECA tag on their Australian made pieces.
Meanwhile, Colonial’s Christmas ambassador, MTV VJ Erin McNaught (above), a keen environmentalist, is teaming with the theme, dishing tips for a green Christmas:
1. GIVE A PLANET- FRIENDLY GIFT For a quick and easy gift idea, choose a gift that loves the planet with a biodegradable gift card.
2. LOW ENERGY CHRISTMAS LIGHTS Replace your existing lights with LEDs. They use up to 90% less energy than traditional incandescent Christmas lights.
3. MAKE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS CARDS Get creative and make personalised Christmas gift cards using recycled paper and materials [0r] purchase Christmas cards from organisations that raise funds for charity or a special cause. (ED’S NOTE: Try also eco options at Neo Tokyo and Raven & Lamb)
4. FESTIVE SEASON FROCK Make your selection from Australian retailers who use organic fabric to make beautiful garments. (ED’S NOTE: visit the fashion directory) Over 80,000 tonnes of old clothes will be thrown away this Christmas, so donate your old clothes to a local charity.
5. ECO GIFT WRAPPING Use gift bags, boxes or recycled wrapping paper. Bags and boxes last longer and can be reused. Australians waste approx. 4,000 tonnes of paper each year—the equivalent of 25,000 trees.